Ernest Littlefield

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Ernest Littlefield in 1945
Ernest Littlefield in 1997

Summary

Ernest Littlefield was the first known modern man from Earth to step through the unburied stargate and was introduced in the episode, 1.11 "The Torment Of Tantalus".

Character Biography

Professor Ernest Littlefield was engaged to be married to Catherine Langford, the daughter of Professor Langford, the archaeologist who unburied the stargate in 1928 in Giza, Egypt. He was so involved with the research on the stargate that Catherine had to continue reminding him that he needed to speak with her father in order to ask for her hand in marriage. Ernest never did.

Instead, he volunteered to step into the wormhole the research team had activated purely by accident when they picked a random sequence in 1945. He theorized that the combination of the symbols on the stargate were coordinates in space. Professor Langford said that "doorway to heaven" could mean anything, including that whoever stepped into the active device would die. Ernest decided that the risk was worth it and he volunteered to step through. The research team was filming the event when the wormhole disengaged and cut off Ernest's oxygen hose (he was wearing a Siebe-Gorman diving suit). Professor Langford told Catherine that Ernest was killed in an explosion in the lab. Not long after this, the research project was discontinued and the stargate was placed in storage in an armory in Washington, D.C. (2.21 "1969").

The Pentagon found the film from Langford's research and sent it to Stargate Command. Daniel Jackson was watching the film when he saw what happened to Ernest. He was able to obtain the address of the planet that Ernest went and proposed to General Hammond that they go there to find out what happened to the "man who had the vision to see the Gate for what it was…a half a century before anyone else."

SG-1 took Catherine with them to the planet and discovered Ernest had been there all alone for over 50 years. He wasn't able to use the DHD because the crystal was broken and no one had come for him. He imagined that Catherine was with him and talked to her and wrote about her in his journal. But when he saw Catherine in person, he had a difficult time adjusting to her being an old woman and believed she had betrayed him. She told him that her father had lied to her and that she hadn't had the opportunity to forgive him for going through the stargate without talking to her about it first, basically putting his research above her. Catherine said that she had recognized the same enthusiasm in Daniel which she had seen in Ernest and knew then that Daniel would be the one to solve the riddle of the stargate.

Ernest showed SG-1 his notes and some of the things he discovered there while Carter and Teal'c attempted to directly connect the DHD with the stargate in order to provide the stargate's buffer with enough energy to release the inner ring. The most amazing discovery on the planet was a room where four races had gathered to form an alliance. They each had written the pact in their native languages on the walls, one of which was immediately recognized by Daniel as Thor's race, the Asgard. The SGC later found out that the four races were the Asgard, Nox, Ancients (builders of the stargates), and the Furlings (2.16 "The Fifth Race"). In the middle of their meeting room was a device which appeared similar to the DHD, having a large red button in the center. When Jack touched the button, a three-dimensional "page" of text appeared in the air above their heads. The symbols used for the language in this image were depictions of the elements of the periodic table. Daniel concluded that it was a universal language, using information common to all living beings. He was so enthralled with the prospect of understanding this language that he was unaware that the palace was literally crumbling around him.

While SG-1 was with Ernest, a great storm came over them. Ernest said that it happened every year. After the DHD fell through the floor, they determined that they needed to find an alternate energy source. Everyone went to the alliance meeting room to see about using the device's energy source, much to Daniel's dismay because they would be destroying "the meaning of life stuff". Teal'c attempted to gain access to the inside of the device with a blast from his staff weapon, but the weapon proved useless. Jack suggested they use the lightning strikes to directly channel the energy into the stargate. Ernest gave them the copper helmet of his diving suit to place on the roof to attract the lightning. They were successful in releasing the inner ring and Teal'c manually dialed Earth.

Ernest had learned a few things during his lonely stay on the planet and he had to pass his knowledge on to Daniel who was refusing to go with them because he wanted to understand the text. Daniel was willing to be stranded for an indefinite period of time so that he could study it. Ernest pursuaded him that the knowledge was useless if it couldn't be shared. After Jack tried to physically pull Daniel away from the device, Daniel realized his obsession and grabbed Ernest's notes and left with Jack back home.

The love that Ernest and Catherine shared in 1945 was still alive. Catherine retired to spend the rest of their lives together (1.20 "There But For The Grace Of God").

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--DeeKayP 18:31, 8 Jan 2005 (PST)